Pubdate: Sat, 29 Aug 2015
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Rob Drinkwater
Page: A6


Crown Drops Bid to Block Treatment

LEDUC - Alberta appears to have stepped back from a fight to stop a 
four-year-old girl from receiving a marijuana-derived treatment for 
her seizures.

Brian Fish, lawyer for the girl's mother, says the Crown has 
withdrawn a request for an order that would have forced his client to 
stop giving her daughter cannabidiol and submit her to conventional treatment.

The mother says traditional drugs were ineffective against the girl's 
seizures and doctors were suggesting brain surgery as an alternative.

The Canadian Press is not identifying the girl or her mother because 
of provisions in Alberta's Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating part of hemp that the girl was 
taking in pill form. The mother says it significantly reduces her 
daughter's seizures.

"Somebody believed that cannabidiol is illegal and that is a basis 
for apprehending the child. That is not a basis under the Child, 
Youth and Family Enhancement Act," Fish said outside a courtroom in 
Leduc after the application was withdrawn.

Fish said it appeared that someone reported the family to child 
welfare. Workers met with the mother, he said, but she was unwilling 
to cease her daughter's treatment with cannabidiol, so the province 
applied for a supervision order.

The mother is seeking a medical marijuana exemption for the girl, 
something that was already in the works before child welfare became 
involved, Fish said.

Cannabidiol has been widely touted as a potential therapy for 
hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy. But many doctors say there's little 
medical evidence to show if the compound is effective or safe.
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